Before you think about choosing an Emergency Notification System, you must first understand the benefits. Not only will this help you decide if you need such a system, it will help you in choosing the right provider. As well as justifying the need to key stakeholders.
An Emergency Notification System (ENS) can significantly enhance your ability to respond to emergencies. Improving your communication and helping you to resolve emergency situations faster.
When looking at emergency notification system benefits, it’s easy to be distracted by providers announcing a wide range of impressive features and functionality. Features and functionality are not benefits.
You need to be able to cut through the noise and focus on the most important outcomes your emergency notification software must achieve:
- Ensure the safety of staff and the public
- Resolve emergencies as quickly as possible, so normal operations can resume
- Minimise or prevent reputational damage resulting from the incident
Any features or functions that do not contribute to the outcomes above are not worth having
To help you better understand the benefits of an emergency mass notification system, we’ve compiled the most important ones below.
Send and Deliver Emergency Alerts Faster
Time is always a critical factor in emergency situations. When incidents occur, speed of communication will directly influence the level and duration of risk your employees and the public are exposed to. Speed of communication will also affect how quickly you can respond to an emergency and resolve it.
Emergency notification software accelerates communication by helping you to send and deliver emergency alerts faster.
The best emergency notification platforms will allow you to create pre-prepared templates and message distribution groups. Simplifying the process of creating and sending your emergency alerts. Saving you valuable time and allowing you to send emergency alerts faster.
Modern communication channels including email, text messages, push notifications and instant messaging mean you can deliver emergency alerts at light speed. From the point at which you hit send, emergency alerts are delivered within milliseconds. So recipients are informed sooner and can react faster.
These are critical elements in improving crisis response and resolution.
Send Mass Notifications to 1000s in Seconds
Depending on the type of emergency, you may need to alert a select group of staff, an entire office, the global business, all your customers, and beyond. This can be the difference between alerting 1 and 100,000.
Most emergency communication systems have mass notification functionality built in to the platform. In combination with pre-defined distribution groups, you can seamlessly increase your emergency communications to be delivered to hundreds of thousands.
Mass notification functionality ensures everyone who needs to be alerted receives an emergency communication. While also simplifying the process of scaling your communications in a few quick clicks. Again improving speed of communication.
Check Staff Safety and Focus Crisis Response Efforts
Two-way communication is a core feature in the best emergency notification software platforms, bringing significant benefits.
While one-way communication is ideal for alerting staff of immediate threats, what if an employee needs assistance or misses the communication? This is where two-way communication comes in.
Two-way communication allows employees to mark themselves as safe or seek assistance. This lets you focus your crisis response efforts to help those that need it most. Helping to keep employees in danger, and providing support to other employees in need so they can more quickly resume normal working operations.
As part of two-way communication, most leading emergency mass notification systems let you see who has received the message, whether they opened it, and how they responded. During an emergency event, this again helps you focus crisis response resources.
After a crisis is resolved, you can also analyse two-way communication responses using built-in reports. This will help you identify issues such as inefficient communication channels, or poor response behaviour from employees. This information will help to improve your emergency response plans and processes for future incidents.
Improve Visibility of Emergency Alerts
Sending an emergency alert doesn’t guarantee that the communication will be seen. An emergency communication through a company-wide email is no longer enough. Emails can be missed, or simply not delivered if your network and systems are offline.
Multi-channel communications in emergency alert software allow you to improve the visibility of your emergency alerts. At the click of a button, you can send communications to computers, mobiles, and voice communication systems through multiple channels that include email, SMS, instant messaging, push notifications, phone calls, and voice messaging.
This amplifies your communications and significantly improves the visibility of your emergency alerts. If more people know, more people can react.
Disaster Resilient Communication
In the event of a disaster, your internal systems may be compromised. Regardless of whether hackers have infiltrated your systems, servers are offline, or there are widespread power outages, you still need to be able to send emergency communications.
Leading emergency notification systems provide you with a disaster-resilient communication platform. Deployed on an independent private cloud, disaster recovery and failover functionality ensures you can always access and send emergency communications. Even in the most extreme circumstances.
Providing access through an emergency notification app, you’ll still be able to create and send your emergency alerts. Delivered through a range of communication channels to multiple devices you can rest assured your emergency alerts will reach their intended destination. Ensuring your wider network is informed of what is occurring and those at most risk can be made safe and are not left in the dark.
Provide Clear and Consistent Communication
Clear and consistent communication is a critical factor in directing the emergency response of staff and the public. You can’t afford to be making mistakes when severe incidents occur.
Template functionality within your emergency notification platforms allows you to pre-prepare your responses and documentation for a range of emergency scenarios. From system outages to live shooter situations you can create emergency response documents and communications free from human error.
So when an incident occurs you ensure you can provide clear and consistent communication across the business. This creates a coordinated response to the emergency situation to improve resolution times and mitigate risk.
Improve Emergency Response Plans and Processes
Following a crisis there are always lessons to be learned from how you and your team responded.
Emergency mass notification software with built-in reporting will provide you with a goldmine of information for post-crisis analysis. You’ll access vital information that can include:
- Which communication channels have the best delivery and response rates.
- The messaging is included in the emergency alerts.
- Who made what decision and when they made it.
- An audit log of everything that occurred.
All of this information can be dissected and disseminated between your crisis response team. You’ll uncover critical insights into your emergency response. Helping you to alter your emergency response plans and processes, so you are better prepared for future events.
Maintain Your Compliance
Depending on your business focus, industry sector, office building, and location you may be subject to several government and industry compliance requirements.
When it comes to emergency notification systems, compliance can be involved in two ways:
- International building and fire codes can require you to have an emergency mass notification system.
- Government and industry regulations - such as GDPR and HIPPA - will dictate what data can be entered into your system, where it’s stored, and how it's processed.
Leading emergency notification providers will deliver a system and align to practices that will help you meet and maintain compliance.
This includes integrating functionality like audit logs to help you collect and process data in line with these regulations. While ensuring data is stored securely and in the required geographic location.
Hopefully, you are now aware of the many benefits an emergency notification system can provide you when incidents occur.
The right platform can significantly improve your crisis response and resolution capabilities. You can communicate faster, with clarity, and free from error, ensuring the right people receive the relevant communication.
Now you understand the benefits, you can explore the main considerations when choosing an emergency mass notification system.
January 29, 2024